/ Asked by Joseph
I have been in the same labor position (shipping/receiving) for over 14 years. I have also been enrolled in college pursuing my bachelors in business management for the last two years How do I 'sell' prospective employers on giving me consideration with a position (customer service, sales, account manager) that I generally have little to no working experience in, while in pursuit of my degree?
Answered by Sylvia, Hiring Expert at HP Inc., on Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Hi there – I can think of a few ways to get yourself out there and in front of employers. It’s great that you have 14 years of experience on your belt, even if it is in a different role. Use that to your advantage. There are aspects of your current position that can transfer to the new position you are seeking. You would want to highlight those on your resume. For instance, if you are in shipping & receiving, you may deal with customers on a daily basis, you may need to retain or build vendors relationships, manage new and existing vendors, etc. I would suggest a cover letter with your resume when you start applying.
Also, a good way is to network with those that are in the field you aspire to be in. Find someone on LinkedIn and ask to connect with them to discuss their daily work life versus soliciting if they have any job openings. Your university career center is a great resource to a bank of employers. Go to career fairs and meet with the employers. Some employers will even host information sessions on campus (the career enter can tell you who), attend those! There is more of a chance to speak with someone one on one for a longer duration then at career fairs. This is your chance to stand out in person without being in an interview.
Hope this helps! Good luck! 
Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Congratulations on being with the same company for 14 years that shows a great deal of loyalty and no doubt you have gained some great experience. It is important to remember that you have built your resume by adding skills learned, practiced and have become very proficient.  Most of these skills are transferable into the positions you mentioned including, sales, customer service and managing. these skills include: time management, decision making, problem solving, collaboration,  communication, initiative, leadership and perhaps training and mentoring.  When you are looking for the next step in your career ensure you are speaking to these life skills, which are critical to most positions, in your cover letters, resume, networking and applications. You can also highlight the loyalty, major accomplishments and awards at your current position. If there is an opportunity within your company you may also seek support and feedback from your current supervisor and perhaps move into a new career path there at your company  Best of Luck in your career search. 
Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on Monday, June 15, 2015
Hi there!

I've heard about these situations before, and it is definitely a tough one to be in.  A couple of words of advice:

I would definitely make sure that you are networking and getting to know individuals in the departments you are looking to eventually move into.  In a lot of companies, if you introduce yourself and show that you are making strides to build a career in a path that aligns with theirs, they should be open for a discussion.  When networking, be open and honest about what you are interested in, and learn about the types of roles responsibilities of that team.  

After you have had a chance to work with those individuals, speak to your current manager and see about taking on small projects or work opportunities with that group.  This happened once on our HR team.  We were in the midst of a very manual process of scanning information into one of our HRIS systems.  There was an individual from one of our operations that had interest in HR, so we pulled them into the group for 2 weeks to help with the project.  They eventually came on as an entry-level associate, and continue to work their way up from there.  

Lastly, and I'd hate to say it, but you may need to explore opportunities outside of your current organization.  Sometimes you might have to take a step back and do a contract assignment or internship to get your foot in the door.  Take the opportunity, knock it out of the park, then move into a full time role when one becomes available.

Best of luck in your search!

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